H.R. 5955 (112th): Rural Energy Investment Act of 2012

112th Congress, 2011–2013. Text as of Jun 18, 2012 (Introduced).

Status & Summary | PDF | Source: GPO

I

112th CONGRESS

2d Session

H. R. 5955

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 18, 2012

(for herself, Mr. Kind, Ms. Pingree of Maine, Mr. Hinchey, Mr. Braley of Iowa, Mr. Boswell, Mr. Luján, Mr. Butterfield, Mr. Ryan of Ohio, Mrs. Christensen, Mr. Loebsack, Ms. Lee of California, Ms. Richardson, Mr. Walz of Minnesota, Mr. Michaud, Mr. Blumenauer, and Ms. Fudge) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and in addition to the Committees on Oversight and Government Reform and Science, Space, and Technology, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned

A BILL

To amend the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 to improve energy programs.

1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Rural Energy Investment Act of 2012.

2.

Findings

Congress finds that—

(1)

production of energy from domestic sources offers considerable economic and energy security benefits to the United States, including enduring and desirable jobs;

(2)

the agricultural and forestry sectors of the United States offer significant potential for production of renewable energy;

(3)

both renewable energy production and adoption of energy efficiency offer considerable environmental benefits; and

(4)

investments in energy efficiency projects and renewable energy systems in rural areas of the United States provide very significant energy security, economic, and environmental benefits to the entire United States in addition to the rural area benefits.

3.

Definitions

Section 9001 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8101) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (6)—

(A)

in subparagraph (C), by striking or at the end;

(B)

in subparagraph (D), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; or; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(E)

renewable chemicals.

;

(2)

in paragraph (7)(A), by striking and biobased products and inserting , renewable chemicals, or biobased products;

(3)

in paragraph (11), by inserting (including a renewable chemical) after material or compound;

(4)

by redesignating paragraphs (13) and (14) as paragraphs (14) and (15), respectively; and

(5)

by inserting after paragraph (12) the following new paragraph:

(13)

Renewable chemical

The term renewable chemical means a monomer, polymer, plastic, formulated product, or chemical substance produced from renewable biomass.

.

4.

Biobased markets program

Section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8102) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (a)—

(A)

in paragraph (3), by adding at the end the following new subparagraphs:

(F)

Biobased product designations

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subparagraph, the Secretary shall—

(i)

increase the number of categories of biobased products designated and individual biobased products eligible for preferred purchasing by 50 percent;

(ii)

begin to designate intermediate ingredients or feedstocks in the guidelines issued under this paragraph; and

(iii)

develop a recommendation for the designation of complex and finished biobased products in those guidelines.

(G)

Changes in procurement mechanisms

(i)

Electronic product procurement catalogs

The Secretary shall work with relevant officials in agencies that have electronic product procurement catalogs to identify and implement solutions to increase the visibility of biobased and other sustainable products.

(ii)

Agency-specific product specifications

(I)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subparagraph and every 4 years thereafter, the Secretary, in coordination with other appropriate officials, shall work with the senior sustainability officer of each agency that has established agency-specific product specifications to review and revise the product specifications to ensure that, to the maximum extent practicable, the product specifications—

(aa)

require the use of sustainable products, including biobased products designated in accordance with this section; and

(bb)

do not contain any language prohibiting the use of biobased products.

(II)

Report

Results of the reviews conducted under subclause (I) shall be reported annually to the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the appropriate committees of Congress.

(H)

Reporting

(i)

In general

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subparagraph, the Secretary and the Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council shall jointly propose an amendment to the Federal Acquisition Regulation to require reporting of biobased product purchases, to be made public on an annual basis.

(ii)

Reporting template

After the promulgation of the proposed amendment described in clause (i), the Secretary, in consultation with the Chief Acquisition Officers Council, shall develop and make available a reporting template to facilitate the annual reporting requirement.

; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(5)

Compliance

The Secretary may take such action as the Secretary determines to be necessary—

(A)

to determine the compliance rate among Federal agencies in buying designated biobased products; and

(B)

to determine whether vendor and contractor claims about biobased products meeting item designation definitions and minimum required biobased content are accurate.

;

(2)

in subsection (b)—

(A)

in paragraph (2)(B)—

(i)

in clause (ii), by striking and at the end;

(ii)

by redesignating clause (iii) as clause (iv); and

(iii)

by inserting after clause (ii), the following new clause:

(iii)

encourage the purchase of products that apply an innovative approach to growing, harvesting, procuring, processing, or manufacturing biobased products regardless of the date of entry of the products into the marketplace.

;

(B)

in paragraph (3)—

(i)

by striking (3) Use of label.—The Secretary and inserting the following:

(3)

Use of label

(A)

In general

The Secretary

; and

(ii)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(B)

Auditing and compliance

The Secretary may carry out such auditing and compliance activities as the Secretary determines to be necessary to ensure compliance with subparagraph (A), including the imposition of a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 on a person who misuses the label and, after receiving a notice of violation, fails to take action to correct the misuse described in the notice.

; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:

(4)

Forestry Products Laboratory coordination

In determining which products may qualify to use a label under paragraph (1), the Secretary, in consultation with the Forest Products Laboratory, shall—

(A)

review and approve applications for designation as biobased products submitted by vendors or manufacturers of forest-related products;

(B)

expedite the approval of applications for designation as biobased products submitted by producers of innovative forest-related products resulting from technology developed by the Forest Products Laboratory or partners of the Laboratory; and

(C)

provide appropriate technical assistance to applicants, as determined by the Secretary.

(5)

Complex and finished products

Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this paragraph, the Secretary shall develop a recommendation for labeling complex and finished products.

;

(3)

by redesignating subsections (d) through (h) as subsections (e) through (i), respectively;

(4)

by inserting after subsection (c) the following new subsection:

(d)

Outreach, education, and promotion

(1)

In general

The Secretary shall carry out a program of outreach, education, and promotion activities intended to increase knowledge, awareness, and benefits of biobased products.

(2)

Authorized activities

In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary, at a minimum, shall—

(A)

not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this paragraph, update all existing BioPreferred and related sustainable acquisition training materials of the Department;

(B)

work cooperatively with the senior sustainability officers and chief acquisition officers of Federal agencies to immediately implement such BioPreferred program agency education and outreach programs as are necessary to meet the requirements of this section;

(C)

work actively with groups that support employment for the blind or disabled, such as the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled, to promote education and outreach regarding BioPreferred AbilityOne products to—

(i)

program, technical, and contracting personnel; and

(ii)

Federal agency purchase card holders;

(D)

conduct consumer education and outreach (including consumer and awareness surveys);

(E)

conduct outreach to and support for State and local governments interested in implementing biobased purchasing programs;

(F)

partner with industry and nonprofit groups to produce educational and outreach materials and conduct educational and outreach events;

(G)

sponsor special conferences and events to bring together buyers and sellers of biobased products; and

(H)

support pilot and demonstration projects.

;

(5)

in subsection (h) (as redesignated by paragraph (3)), by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(3)

Jobs creation research and report

Not later than 2 years after the date of enactment of this paragraph, the Secretary shall carry out a study, and submit to the President and the appropriate committees of Congress a report, on job creation and the economic impact associated with the biobased product industry, including—

(A)

the number of jobs in the United States originating from the biobased product industry annually over the preceding 10 years, including the job changes in specific sectors;

(B)

the dollar value of the domestic biobased products industry at the time of the report, including intermediates, feedstocks, and finished products, but excluding biofuels;

(C)

a forecast for biobased job creation potential over the next 10 years;

(D)

a forecast for growth in the biobased industry over the next 10 years; and

(E)

jobs data for both biofuels and biobased products, with data generated separately for each category.

; and

(6)

in subsection (i) (as redesignated by paragraph (3))—

(A)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

in subparagraph (A), by striking and at the end;

(ii)

in subparagraph (B), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(iii)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(C)

$4,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017.

; and

(B)

in paragraph (2), by inserting and $4,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017 before the period at the end.

5.

Biorefinery assistance

Section 9003 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8103) is amended—

(1)

in subsection (b)(2), by inserting or a renewable chemical after biofuel each place it appears in subparagraphs (A) and (B);

(2)

in subsection (c)(1), by inserting or renewable chemicals after biofuels;

(3)

in subsection (d)(2)(C)—

(A)

in clause (i), by inserting or renewable chemical after biofuel; and

(B)

in clause (iii), by inserting or renewable chemicals after biofuels;

(4)

in subsection (e)(1)(C)—

(A)

in clause (i), by inserting or renewable chemical after biofuel; and

(B)

in clauses (iii) and (vii), by inserting or renewable chemicals after biofuels each place it appears; and

(5)

in subsection (h)—

(A)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

in subparagraph (A), by striking and at the end;

(ii)

in subparagraph (B), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(iii)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(C)

$75,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017.

; and

(B)

in paragraph (2), by inserting and $75,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017 before the period at the end.

6.

Biodiesel fuel education program

Section 9006 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8106) is amended by striking subsection (d) and inserting the following new subsection:

(d)

Funding

(1)

Mandatory funding

Of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall use to carry out this section $1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017, to remain available until expended.

(2)

Discretionary funding

In addition to any other funds made available to carry out this section, there is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $1,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017.

.

7.

Rural Energy for America Program

Section 9007 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8107) is amended—

(1)

by redesignating subsections (a) through (g) as subsections (b) through (h), respectively;

(2)

by inserting before subsection (b) (as so redesignated), the following new subsection:

(a)

Agricultural producer defined

In this section, the term agricultural producer includes rural and non-rural agricultural producers.

;

(3)

in subsection (d) (as redesignated by paragraph (1))—

(A)

by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following new paragraph:

(1)

Loan guarantee and grant program

(A)

In general

In addition to any similar authority, the Secretary shall provide loan guarantees and grants to agricultural producers and rural small businesses—

(i)

to purchase renewable energy systems, including—

(I)

systems that may be used to produce and sell electricity, such as for agricultural, and associated residential, purposes; and

(II)

unique components of renewable energy systems; and

(ii)

to make energy efficiency improvements.

(B)

Tiered application process

(i)

In general

In providing loan guarantees and grants under this subsection, the Secretary shall use a 3-tiered application process that reflects the sizes of proposed projects in accordance with this subparagraph.

(ii)

Tier 1

The Secretary shall establish a separate application process for projects for which the cost of the activity funded under this subsection is not more than $80,000.

(iii)

Tier 2

The Secretary shall establish a separate application process for projects for which the cost of the activity funded under this subsection is greater than $80,000 but less than $200,000.

(iv)

Tier 3

The Secretary shall establish a separate application process for projects for which the cost of the activity funded under this subsection is equal to or greater than $200,000.

(v)

Application process

The Secretary shall establish an application, evaluation, and oversight process that is most simplified for tier I projects and more comprehensive for each subsequent tier.

;

(B)

in paragraph (3)—

(i)

in subparagraph (A), by inserting in an amount not to exceed $100,000 per grant after in the form of grants; and

(ii)

by striking subparagraph (C);

(C)

in paragraph (4)(C), by striking 75 percent of the cost and inserting all eligible costs; and

(D)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(5)

Requirement

In carrying out this section, the Secretary shall not require a second meter for on-farm residential portions of rural projects connected to the grid.

;

(4)

in subsection (g) (as redesignated by paragraph (1))—

(A)

by striking Not later and inserting the following:

(1)

In general

Not later

; and

(B)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(2)

Subsequent report

Not later than 4 years after the date of enactment of this paragraph, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on activities carried out under this section, including the outcomes achieved by projects funded under this section.

; and

(5)

in subsection (h) (as redesignated by paragraph (1))—

(A)

in paragraph (1)(D), by striking fiscal year 2012 and inserting each of fiscal years 2012 through 2017; and

(B)

in paragraph (3), by inserting and $70,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017 before the period at the end.

8.

Biomass research and development

Section 9008 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8108) is amended—

(1)

by striking biofuels and each place it appears in subsections (b), (c)(3), (d)(2)(A), (e), and (g)(2) and inserting biofuels, renewable chemicals, and;

(2)

in subsection (e)—

(A)

in paragraph (2)—

(i)

in subparagraph (A)—

(I)

by striking at prices competitive with fossil fuels and inserting and biobased products; and

(II)

by inserting and after the semicolon at the end;

(ii)

by striking subparagraph (B);

(iii)

by redesignating subparagraph (C) as subparagraph (B); and

(iv)

in subparagraph (B) (as so redesignated), by inserting renewable chemicals, after bioenergy,;

(B)

in paragraph (3)—

(i)

in subparagraph (B), in the subparagraph heading, by inserting , renewable chemicals, after Biofuels; and

(ii)

by striking subparagraph (C);

(C)

by striking paragraph (4); and

(D)

by redesignating paragraphs (5) and (6) as paragraphs (4) and (5), respectively; and

(3)

in subsection (h)—

(A)

in paragraph (1)—

(i)

in subparagraph (C), by striking and at the end;

(ii)

in subparagraph (D), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; and; and

(iii)

by adding at the end the following new subparagraph:

(E)

$30,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017.

; and

(B)

in paragraph (2), by inserting and $30,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017 before the period at the end.

9.

Rural energy self-sufficiency initiative

Section 9009(d) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8109(d)) is amended by inserting and $10,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017 before the period at the end.

10.

Biomass crop assistance program

(a)

Definitions

Section 9011(a) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8111(a)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (4)(B)—

(A)

in clause (i), by striking or at the end;

(B)

in clause (ii)—

(i)

by striking has the potential to become invasive or noxious and inserting species or varieties of plants that credible risk assessment tools or other credible sources determine are potentially invasive; and

(ii)

by striking the period at the end and inserting ; or; and

(C)

by adding at the end the following new clause:

(iii)

algae.

;

(2)

in paragraph (5)(B), by striking clauses (iv) and (v) and inserting the following new clauses:

(iv)

land enrolled in the environmental easement program established under chapter 3 of subtitle D of such title (16 U.S.C. 3839 et seq.); or

(v)

land enrolled in the programs described in clauses (iii) and (iv) under a contract that expires at the end of fiscal year ___.

;

(3)

in paragraph (6)—

(A)

by striking subparagraph (A) and inserting the following new subparagraph:

(A)

In general

The term eligible material means the following materials:

(i)

Renewable biomass material harvested directly from the land, including crop residue from any crop that is eligible to receive payments under title I of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (7 U.S.C. 8701 et seq.).

(ii)

Material that is collected or harvested by the owner of such material—

(I)

directly from the National Forest System, Bureau of Land Management land, non-Federal land, or land owned by an individual Indian or Indian tribe that is held in trust by the United States for the benefit of the individual Indian or Indian tribe or subject to a restriction against alienation imposed by the United States; or

(II)

in a manner that is consistent with a conservation plan, a forest stewardship plan, or a plan that the Secretary determines is equivalent to a conservation plan or a forest stewardship plan and consistent with Executive Order 13112 (64 Fed. Reg. 6183; relating to invasive species).

(iii)

In the case of woody material, material that is produced on land other than contract acreage that—

(I)

is a byproduct of a preventative treatment that is removed to reduce hazardous fuel or to reduce or contain disease or insect infestation; and

(II)

if harvested from Federal land, is harvested in accordance with section 102(e) of the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003 (16 U.S.C. 6512(e)).

(iv)

Material that is delivered to a qualified biomass conversion facility to be used for heat, power, biobased products, research, or advanced biofuels.

; and

(B)

in subparagraph (B)—

(i)

in clause (iii), by striking or at the end;

(ii)

in clause (iv), by striking the period at the end and inserting ; or; and

(iii)

by adding at the end the following new clause:

(v)

bagasse.

; and

(4)

by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

(9)

Socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher

The term socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher has the meaning given such term in section 2501(e) of the Food, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. 2279(e)).

.

(b)

BCAP Project Area

Section 9011(c) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8111(c)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (2)—

(A)

in subparagraph (A), by striking clause (iv) and inserting the following new clause:

(iv)

any other information about the biomass conversion facility or proposed biomass conversion facility that the Secretary determines necessary for the Secretary to be reasonably assured that the plant will be in operation by the date on which the eligible crops are ready for harvest.

; and

(B)

in subparagraph (B)(ix), by striking information and all that follows through the period and inserting information that the Secretary determines to be necessary.;

(2)

in paragraph (3)—

(A)

in subparagraph (B)—

(i)

in clause (iii)—

(I)

in subclause (I), by striking or at the end;

(II)

in subclause (II), by striking or an equivalent; and at the end and inserting ; or; and

(III)

by adding at the end the following new subclause:

(III)

a plan that is equivalent to a conservation plan or a forest stewardship plan; and

; and

(ii)

in clause (iv), by striking the Secretary and all that follows through the period and inserting that the Secretary determines to be necessary.; and

(B)

in subparagraph (C), in the matter preceding clause (i), by striking up to and inserting not more than; and

(3)

in paragraph (5)—

(A)

in subparagraph (B)—

(i)

by redesignating clauses (i), (ii), and (iii) as subclauses (I), (II), and (III), respectively, and moving the margins of such subclauses two ems to the right;

(ii)

by striking (B) Amount of establishment payments.—The amount of and inserting the following:

(B)

Amount of establishment payments

(i)

In general

Except as provided in clause (ii), the amount of

;

(iii)

in clause (i) (as designated by clause (ii)), by striking up to 75 percent and inserting not more than the lesser of $500 per acre or 75 percent; and

(iv)

by adding at the end the following new clause:

(ii)

Socially disadvantaged farmers or ranchers

The limitation on the amount of an establishment payment under clause (i) shall apply in the case of a socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher in the same manner as such limitation applies to any farmer or rancher under such clause except that the limitation on the costs of establishment applicable to a socially disadvantaged farmer or rancher shall be not more than the lesser of $750 per acre or 85 percent of such costs.

; and

(B)

in subparagraph (C)(ii), by striking subclause (V) and inserting the following new subclause:

(V)

the Secretary determines a reduction is necessary to carry out this section.

.

(c)

Assistance with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation

Section 9011(d) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8111(d)) is amended—

(1)

in paragraph (1)(B), by inserting before the period at the end , regardless of whether the eligible material is produced on contract acreage; and

(2)

in paragraph (2)(B)—

(A)

by striking rate of $1 and inserting rate of not more than $1; and

(B)

by striking $45 per ton and all that follows through the period and inserting $20 per dry ton for a period of 4 years..

(d)

Funding

Section 9011(f) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8111(f)) is amended to read as follows:

(f)

Funding

(1)

Mandatory funding

Of the funds of the Commodity Credit Corporation, the Secretary shall use to carry out this section $75,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017, of which not more than $15,000,000 for each fiscal year may be used for providing assistance with collection, harvest, storage, and transportation under subsection (d).

(2)

Discretionary funding

In addition to any other funds made available to carry out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $75,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2013 through 2017.

.

(e)

Conforming amendments; technical corrections

(1)

Definition of eligible land

Section 9011(a)(5)(B)(ii) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8111(a)(5)(B)(ii)) is amended by inserting (7 U.S.C. 8701 et seq.) after 2008.

(2)

Establishment and purpose

Section 9011(b)(2) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8111(b)(2)) is amended by inserting the before collection.

(3)

Socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers

Section 9011(c)(2)(B)(v)(II) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8111(c)(2)(B)(v)(II)) is amended by striking ranchers and all that follows through the semicolon and inserting ranchers;.

(4)

Limitation on assistance for BCAP contract acreage

Section 9011(d)(3) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8111(d)(3)) is amended by inserting an before annual.

11.

Forest biomass for energy

Section 9012(d) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8112(d)) is amended by striking 2012 and inserting 2017.

12.

Community wood energy program

Section 9013(e) of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 (7 U.S.C. 8113(e)) is amended by striking 2012 and inserting 2017.